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Poles give Smolensk report thumbs down

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 01.08.2011 00:10
Almost half of Poles think that Poland's report into the causes of the Smolensk air disaster does not fully explain the reasons behind the deaths of President Kaczynski and 95 others in Smolensk last year, finds an opinion poll by the Homo Homini Institute commissioned by Polish Radio.

Launch of Smolensk report, Friday; photo - PAP/Pawel Supernak

Over 47 percent of Poles are dissatisfied with the report's findings - which found that pilot error, training and preperation were all causes of the tragedy which killed many of Poland's political and military leaders.

Twenty nine percent judge the long-awaited document good document as "good".

Much of the report agrees with findings of the earlier Russian investigation into the crash in western Russia, though it did find that Russian air traffic control gave the pilots incorrect information about the approach to Smolensk airport and that they had been given no clear weather information, crucial with thick fog awaiting them on arrival.

Though Defence Minister Bogdan Klich resigned after the report was published on Friday, 33 percent of respondents of the poll commissioned by Polish Radio think that further resignations should follow, with almost 23 percent calling for PM Donald Tusk to quit.

On Friday, Tusk accepted the resignation of defense minister Bogdan Klich, submitted Thursday, in the wake of the report into the causes of the Smolensk air disaster.

According to Anna Karasińska, deputy head of the Homo Homini Institute, such a large number of Poles saying they are not satisfied by the report signals the need for further explanation by the government.

Meanwhile, opposition MPs have joined in the call for more resignations, citing government failure in the preperation of President Kaczynski's trip to western Russia to attend an anniversary ceremony of the 1940 Katyn massacre.

One opposition MP said Friday after publication that the report was full of "lies"

Head of the Law and Justice (PiS) parliamentary party, Mariusz Błaszczak and Marek Wikiński of the Democratic Left Alliance SLD both told Polish Radio on Sunday that Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski and the head of Prime Minister’s Chancellery, Minister Tomasz Arabski should join Bogdan Klich in quiting their posts.

Jaroslaw Kalinowski of the junior coalition member the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) said that resignations should have followed straight after the disaster on 10 April last year.

Paweł Poncyljusz from the Poland Comes First party (PJN) added that the most important thing for now was to draw conclusions from the Smolensk report in order to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future. (pg/di)

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